George Lopez: Voice of Comic Reason

Justin Stephens

George Lopez has always been one to tell it how it is – but with his own personal twist.

The comedian, actor and entrepreneur will be performing two shows in Reno on Oct. 14 at Silver Legacy’s Grand Exposition Hall.

Oct 14 | 6:30 & 9:30 p.m.
Silver Legacy Resort Casino | Reno, Nev.

“I do a little bit of everything, but standup never gets old,” says the multifaceted entertainer. “It’s the engine that drives everything. If you have a super power, do you think you should use it? I’ll do it until I can’t do it well anymore.”

Watch a clip from George Lopez’s recent HBO special

Like the best in his profession, Lopez has a knack for looking at contemporary social issues through a distinctive and humorous lens.

“I’m not a serious pontificator. I’m just a comedian. I’m not right. … No one should take what anyone, any comedian, says as gospel. It’s satire. Once you do that, you lose your credibility.”
–George Lopez

“Comedy has always been a vehicle for political commentary from the Smothers Brothers to David Letterman,” says Lopez. “I remember Johnny Carson saying, ‘I play both sides and I mess with everybody.’ ”

In spite of broaching hot-button issues, Lopez believes his role as a comedian is first and foremost to be funny.

“I’m not out there to change the way people think,” he says. “I’m just trying to make them laugh. I’m not a serious pontificator. I’m just a comedian. I’m not right. I’m making fun of you because you think that I’m right. No one should take what anyone, any comedian, says as gospel. It’s satire. Once you do that, you lose your credibility.”

With his recent HBO special, “George Lopez: The Wall-Live from Washington, D.C.” filmed at The Kennedy Center, Lopez has most recently trained his comic sites on President Donald Trump and his legions of supporters.

“I think there are a lot of walls,” says Lopez. “Walls of profiling, walls of assumption, walls of communication. There are always walls to break down. As a voice, you want to say something about that. I mess with everybody, too, but lately the ones that stick out the most are the Trump supporters. You are going to lose fans, but if you worry about keeping people happy, you will lose everybody. Bill Cosby once said, ‘I don’t know what the secret to success is, but the secret to failure is trying to make everybody happy.’ I’m not trying to live for you to be disappointed in me. Everybody has the right to live their own lives.”

In spite of his vocal opposition to the President’s policies, particularly on immigration, Lopez has met Trump twice over the years: once for dinner and once for a round of golf on Father’s Day.

“He’s alright,” he says. “We played golf on Father’s Day, which shows you what kind of fathers we are. … He’s not a bad guy, but Twitter cannot be a replacement for governing.”

However, the speed at which information now travels affects everything in our society, including the rate at which comedians are required to write and rewrite their jokes.

“Things change so much daily and we have to keep up with that,” Lopez says. “Before bits would last a week or even a month. Now some things don’t last a day. But at the same time, you can make up anything and have it be viral almost immediately. People use memes as a substitute for truth. You ask a question, you don’t get an answer, you get a meme.”

Lopez sees our modern world as a strange one where people live their lives through technology and get their news from comedians.

“People tell me they watch Bill Maher and John Oliver to get their news,” he says. “They’re great comedians, but is that really where you want to get your information? I want my opinion to be my own, not a parody of the situation. I think you have to live your own individual life and not look to celebrities or comedians to tell you what to think.”

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Sean McAlindin

Sean McAlindin is a writer, musician and educator based in Truckee. When he’s not drafting new story ideas, he can be found jamming with his Celtic bluegrass band, Lost Whiskey Engine, hiking for a local back-country powder stash or hanging out with his daughter, Penelope.